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Marketing your products or services at the small business level is tough, unforgiving work. You have to know your customers as well as you know your spouse, or even better.

When you know them that well, you know what problems they have, the best answers to solve those problems, and exactly when to deliver those answers.

But most small businesses simply talk about their company and what they do. That’s a start. But your customer has to have confidence you have the best solution available for what they’re willing to pay.

So let’s talk a little bit more about the customer’s buying journey.

  1. There’s 4 Stages – Awareness, Evaluation, Purchase, and the One Almost Every Business Forgets…

During the awareness stage, consumers have a dim idea they have a problem they need to solve. They’re not ready to buy yet, so you can’t sell to them. Instead, you show them you get their problem, and then you can start to talk about the solution.

The evaluation stage works as it sounds. Consumers compare your product or service to all the other options available.

Can you guess what happens during the third stage, the purchase stage? One of the key things to do at this point is to ask for their e-mail address. You know they like you. And they might want to buy more from you if your product or service rocks their world.

During the final post-purchase stage, you maintain the relationship so you’re top of mind when they’re ready to buy again. As an example, that could include something simple like an informative e-newsletter.

  1. You Need to Deliver Content at Every Stage of the Cycle

The form of the content can vary. Could be a blog post, a video, infographic, special report, case study, e-mail autoresponder series, newsletter, or even just an image.

Whatever it is, it has to be simple, valuable, and useful. It’s a good idea to switch up content formats to see how your market responds. Maybe you repurpose the exact same type of content into several formats.

If you’re wondering about what to make, simply think of the questions your customers ask you the most often. Or ask them in person what they’d like to know more about.

Then create a piece of content that answers that question.

Yes, creating content that works really is that easy.

You Don’t Need Fancy Tools, But You Do Need to Do Hard Work

You’ll hear about all kinds of fancy SEO and marketing automation tools you need to make online marketing work. Yes, you do need some of these, and it’s good to outsource your digital marketing.

But you don’t need to be super-fancy and elaborate. Old-fashioned hard work by listening to your customers and solving their problem better than anyone else wins their business.

And just a couple of carefully selected pieces of content per month can make that happen.



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